September 15, 2023 | 10:11
U.S. Industrial Production: Mining Gains in August
U.S. industrial production climbed for a second straight month, up 0.4% in August. Manufacturing output (approx. 75% of industrial production) edged up 0.1% following an upwardly revised 0.4% increase. Although motor vehicles and parts reversed the prior month’s gain (-5.0%), computer and electronic products (+0.9%) extended record highs and machinery (+2.0%) rose solidly. Meantime, business equipment climbed 0.8% after a 0.9% increase in the prior month. And, appliances and furniture jumped by a sturdy 3.2%.
Mining climbed 1.4% to the highest level since the start of 2020. Higher energy prices are making oil and gas extraction more attractive. Meantime, volatile utilities climbed 0.9% after surging 4.4% in July thanks to the record-setting hot weather. Capacity utilization climbed 0.2 ppts to 79.7%, holding well above the pre-pandemic rate.
Bottom Line: U.S. factory output edged up in August as a decline in motor vehicle production tempered solid increases in other consumer goods and business equipment. However, production looks to head south in September if the UAW strike drags on.